RIYADH: Saudi investment firm Batic has struck a deal with Huawei to work on smart cities projects throughout the Kingdom.
Smart City Solutions Company, a unit of Riyadh-based Batic Investments and Logistics Co. (Batic) will work with the Chinese technology giant om smart projects covering areas such as parking lots, transportation, the reduction of energy consumption as well as lighting and waste management.
Batic is already working on a major smart city contract in the Eastern Region, part of a SR1.3 billion ($300 million) project that will run for 25 years.
“Smart Cities Solutions and Huawei will cooperate in supplying the market with an integrated portfolio of services and models for operating smart cities that can be customized,” said Adnan Al-Morshid, CEO of the Smart Cities Solutions Company. “One of the first projects within the framework of this agreement is the car park project in Dammam, in which the Smart Cities Solutions Company will assume the task of operating modern parking lots and command centers for Khobar, Dammam and Dhahran cities.”
Saudi Arabia is investing heavily in smart cities in an effort to modernize the economy and provide high-value tech-focused jobs for its youthful population. It is part of a broader push to diversify its economy away from oil.
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs launched the nation’s first smart cities program, which targets 17 cities in its first phase, together comprising almost 72 percent of the Kingdom’s population.
In 2017, Saudi Arabia revealed plans for a futuristic cross-border city called NEOM in Tabuk province, in the Kingdom’s northwest.